• Immerse yourself in Art-Deco glamour amongst curtains of fragrant steam
• Sample Hong Kong’s famous dumplings from a local favorite
• Try Pu-erh tea, a flavorsome fermented brew unique to China
Dim sum, or yum cha, is probably the meal most synonymous with a visit to Hong Kong. The small dishes, designed to be shared, are eaten anytime from early morning to early afternoon. There are plenty of mouthwatering choices for yum cha around town, but Duddell’s, in Central, just above the Shanghai Tang Mansion flagship store, tops our list. The glam, Art-Deco-inspired interiors by designer Ilse Crawford are the perfect backdrop for chef Hin-chi Siu’s creative spin on Cantonese classics. For his delicate shrimp dumplings (ha gow), for example, he replaces traditional bamboo shoots with sweeter diced bell. On weekdays expect some power lunching, but come Saturday or Sunday, it’s all about lounging on the lush outdoor terrace. Your choice whether you pair your dim sum brunch with a flute of champagne or a pot of pu-erh tea (believed to aid digestion). If it’s local color you’re after, head straight to Maxim’s Palace City Hall. The round tables in the cavernous space fill up fast because locals know the dumplings here are fresh and delicious. How to order? Simply stop any of the careening carts to see what’s hiding under their bamboo steamers. Just make sure you have your stamp card, so the server can mark it with your selections. Like many local restaurants, Maxim’s Palace doesn’t take reservations, so try to avoid the lunch hour (12 p.m.-2 p.m.) or be prepared to wait for your dumpling fix. Both restaurants are just a few minutes’ cab ride from the Conrad or one stop away on the MTR.
From the bustle of central station, head past the looming skyscrapers of Peddler Street. When you see the striking white frontage and luxury shops of Central Building, you know you’re near. Duddell’s street winds down opposite the huge Gucci store.
DUDDELL'S: 1 Duddell St.; +852-2525-9191; duddells.co
SHANGHAI TANG MANSION: 1 Duddell St.; +852-2525-7333; shanghaitang.com
MAXIM'S PALACE CITY HALL: 2/F, Low Block, City Hall, 5-7 Edinburgh Place, Central; +852-2521-1303; maximschinese.com.hk